Advertising & Marketing

Is it time to divorce your brand from Facebook?

As organic reach of posts on Facebook nears zero, for many brands the time may have come to make a “conscious uncoupling” from the social network.

When actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, parted company earlier this year they announced they were to “consciously uncouple”. This implies an amiable acceptance that matters have run their course and are no longer working, and may be how some brands feel about their Facebook presence.

If your organisation has a Facebook page there are a number of questions you need to be able to answer with confidence:

•  Why is your brand on Facebook?

•  What value does your Page bring to your audience or your brand?

•  Can you prove it is worth the investment?

Note that I asked whether it was worth the investment, not did it provide a return on the investment – your Page’s value to you may not be purely financial.

Out of reach

The fact is that less and less of your Page fans – and in turn their personal network – are seeing your brand posts unless you pay Facebook for access to them as organic reach plummets below six per cent.

I have noticed a number of companies in mature Facebook markets coming out and honestly talking about leaving Facebook. The latest of these was Copyblogger, which shut its Facebook page last week despite an apparently healthy community of 38,000 fans.

Copyblogger audited its social media communities and realised a great deal of Facebook fans were “junk fans” and of no value to the brand whatsoever, while the more business-focused channels of Twitter and Google+ were driving more engagement.

The brand said: “If that audience wasn’t engaging on Facebook, then there was no real reason for us to pour energy into it. That’s energy we can put into other areas — ones you appreciate more.”

Sounds like common sense. If Facebook isn’t working for you, kill it. Focus your efforts on what does work.

We know that several brands – particularly consumer-facing organisations – have been very vocal about the value of their Facebook Pages; brands such as Burt’s Bees, Red Bull, Threadless and ASOS, for example. All of whom look set to be active on Facebook for the foreseeable future. But Facebook is not an ideal fit for every brand, so its value to the organisation needs regular assessment.

Assessing the value of your Facebook presence

Here’s how to evaluate the value of your Facebook Page:

•  Carry out an audit of your community: strip out any fake or junk fans and see how that impacts engagement

•  What is your engagement rate on Facebook? How does it compare with other channels?

•  What kind of traffic comes to your site from Facebook? How does that traffic value compare (dwell time, bounce rate, goal conversions etc.) to other channels?

•  Are you other KPIs being satisfied by the Page?

•  Are you gaining useful customer insights and feedback that no other channel provides?

Ultimately, does your Facebook Page help you achieve your business objectives?

If not, it could be time to focus that energy into channels and tactics that convert and prepare for a conscious uncoupling from Facebook.


Authored by Chris Lee Head of Social Media Knowledge Grayling London, Soho


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